What Makes Us Extraordinary?

11 Jan
This post is dedicated to my hero and my dad…love you so much dad, Dianne
I am suffering….the recent loss of my father, the gradual loss of a deep soul connection, the tragedies of the world and the suffering of our people along with them, the natural disasters from earthquakes, and hurricanes and the senseless violence of shootings that have taken precious lives, effected thousands of families and friends and threaten us all. I feel the weight of the world in my heart. Then there is the everyday suffering of financial stress, unfinished divorce, job insecurity, unpaid bills, heartbreak, loneliness, seeing my teen and other children suffer from debilitating stress and anxiety, the sorrow for my family who lost their home in Rockport, Texas to hurricane Harvey…you get the idea. Life is suffering but the key is how you handle it. Do you relate? If not, you are lucky. We all suffer in our own way. Don’t worry, this is not an “oh poor me” post. I’m just making a point.
I feel like what I am doing now is not enough. What I realize, is that every day I not only survive but I am getting through it well and I am filled with love and gratitude each day. I whole-heartedly admit that some days are tear-filled and tougher than others but it’s OK. I’m ok. I want to do more. I want to make a difference. I want to serve. I want to help. I do my share…donations, volunteer work, work for a non-profit and I am a life coach. I know I serve how I can now but I want to do MORE, I want to make a bigger difference. I want to matter. Maybe you share the same sentiment?? How do I do that? How do we do that as individuals? Read on…
As I gave my dad’s eulogy, I thought about what kind of person he was, what he always stood for, why he was so loved by so many, how strong he believed in his values and his faith and so much more. I have always thought my dad was an exceptional human being…an angel in disguise, kind, compassionate, loving, generous and a hero. So, I thought about what it means for all of us to be “exceptional” human beings. With the coming of natural catastrophes, world dissonance, and so many events that are the opposite of peace, we all need to be our extraordinary version of ourselves in order to make a difference and to move mountains in our own unique way. So what DOES it mean to be extraordinary???
Extraordinary is different for everyone. Being extraordinary requires getting quiet and listening to what it is that you really want that will make your life MEANINGFUL. Are you ignoring what it is you really want because of society’s definitions of what life should be? Society tries to place us in a box based on our learned beliefs, what success means, money, family, spirituality and anything else that is possibly defined by others and not by ourselves. It is our responsibility as human beings and our right, to step out of our societal limitations, step out of that box, and create what it is that makes us happy, that makes us extraordinary. Extraordinary doesn’t mean big. In fact, extraordinary starts with small moves in the direction of your right and true path. It requires due diligence of your values and of you living by them. It requires vision beyond the limited realm of your mind but reaching out to that higher source (God for me) and the Universe for grounded guidance, creativity and inspiration. It requires connection to your heart to create love-based vision and mission. Your connection to your heart ensures the foundation you build for your extraordinary life is based on love because without love all rest doesn’t matter so much. Extraordinary requires you to get quiet and listen to what is true and has meaning. It requires you to be brave enough to make the hard choices instead of the easy ones. Brave enough to follow the road less traveled when you have the choice. It’s different when you don’t have a choice and you are forced one way. That has other positive trait building aspects. It’s a different kind of bravery when you make the CHOICE to follow your heart, follow your truth and take the scary step into the unknown that on the other side, will create the extraordinary version of you and your life. It requires perseverance to your extraordinary life.
We will create what is meaningful by stepping up, leaping out and raising the bar of what we expect of ourselves and what we are capable of. Extraordinary doesn’t mean that you’re out changing the world in a big way every day but you are anyway if you are being true to yourself in what you do. Whatever your definition of success, being your extraordinary self will get you there. Even though you may not think that you are more than an average Joe or Joan and you may think “who am I to think that I can be extraordinary?”…YOU are extraordinary and you have the power to create an extraordinary life for yourself so you can show up as the best version of yourself for yourself, for your family, for your community and for our world. We need you. The world needs you. Being your extraordinary self is how you make a deeper, bigger impact on everyone you touch and it is how you make a difference. BE EXTRAORDINARY!❤️❤️
With love and lots and lots of hugs,
Dianne Maldonado
Dianne is a Life Wellness and Mindfulness Coach. She works with women and men who are lost in the stresses and frantic lifestyle of the everyday and helps them to live a full peaceful and meaningful life truly worth living. You can contact Dianne at dhillcoaching@gmail.com  to find out more about how she helps her clients.

60 Days and 60 Nights – My Noah’s Ark for Tough Times

7 Mar

60 Days and 60 Nights – My Noah’s Ark for Tough Times

After a bit if a hiatus, I am back to continue to share wonderful wellness tips and tricks for all you busy women.  Hooray!  I survived the last 60 days and have come out a bit beat up but happy and healthy.

Have you ever thought that things are starting to turn your way? You hesitatingly start to feel excited. You think, “I’ve paid dues and it’s my time now.” You have hope that a brighter horizon is on the way…and then WHAMMO!!  Another tornado hits and you are thrown off your feet and slammed onto the ground!! OUCH! In that moment, I look up and ask, “REALLY??!! Didn’t I already meet my “3 bad things in row” limit?”  What’s up with that?!!  Now these thoughts are somewhat fleeting and I quickly realize that this is life. Life is constant change.  I know it, I expect it and I embrace it!  It is also the reason that every day, I bring myself back into the present as often as I can, so I can savor and enjoy those times of joy, peace and moments of grace everyday.  It allows space for experiencing happiness and contentment in my life regardless of my circumstances.

Sooooo, what happened and how did I make it across the fierce waves of change and challenge, fairly unscathed and content?? Amongst other challenges I was teeter tottering at the time, in November 2015, my dearest older brother (also one of my very best friends), caught a bacterial infection that went septic and rampaged through his entire body and nearly killed him.  He was in the ICU area for over 60 days fighting for his life. It was a very long waiting game of life and death for him. Please don’t think that I am complaining because the truth is, I have been in his place and I would not wish that on anyone. I was the lucky one but I knew I had to pull out all the ammo I had to get through this and be there for my brother, my family and myself.

This is a long timeframe to be in stress and anxiety and it is NOT good for the mind, body or soul. Throughout the time, I would experience moments of panic and anxiety.  My brain and my thoughts would start to go crazy, cluttering my mind with stories of what might happen and thinking of worst case scenarios about my brother. My mind also asked the question…would I be able to keep up with the hours of driving each week to advocate and visit my brother, take care of my kids and family, meet my other obligations and maintain my practice? I would also riddle myself with guilt if I didn’t go visit. “I’m a bad sister, I’m selfish, he will think I don’t care…blah, blah, blah.”

So, I pulled out my life jacket and proceeded to make my way through the rough waters.

BREATHE… In those moments, first I would breathe slow diaphragmatic(expand the belly) breaths, 5 seconds in, hold for 5 seconds, and release as slowly as possible for 10 seconds for about 2 minutes. Breathing immediately slows your heart rate, cortisol levels caused by the initial stressor go down and you can think just a little more clearly to analyze what’s really going on.

ASK QUESTIONS TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET…Then, I would ask myself the following…”Is this thought true?  Is it absolutely true? Is this thought serving me well?” Of course, the answer is no, no and a resounding NO! This exercise immediately made me feel more in control of my thoughts realizing that I am making up my own stress and my own stories.  I would thank those thoughts for visiting and say goodbye and I felt better.  TaDa!! Easy-Peasy, right?

I also practiced other tools.

GET QUIET… I was diligent with my daily meditation practice or “get quite time” as I refer to it because meditation is a scary word for some people.  This was KEY to my ability to maintain and make clear decisions and priorities not only for myself but for my brother. Each morning, I got quiet for at least 20 -30 minutes and more if I had time but the important thing was that I knew that I had to make my quiet time my number one priority.  Without it, my days were rough, foggy and busy but not as productive or focused as the days I meditated.  I rarely missed a day.  The benefits of meditation are almost endless but that deserves more than I can cover here.

INTUITION AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT…I also dug deep into my body and my intuition to guide me.  I had to manage not only my time but my energy so I would not be depleted when my kids came home from school. So I would use my gut along with my mind to determine priorities for each day. I knew I could not do everything so I did what mattered and I knew what mattered absolutely.

ASK FOR HELP/HAVE A SUPPORT TRIBE…I am not one who likes to ask for help but over the years I have learned that it takes courage to ask for help when you need it.  It is an expression of strength and leadership, to first recognize that you can’t do it alone and secondly, to reach out to others for support.  I am truly blessed with an amazing set of friends who create my village when I need help.  I call on them and they reach out to me as well.  If you don’t have a tribe or village, I highly recommend gathering one up ASAP!  Tip: Make sure you are discerning and surround yourself only with those people that fill your bucket and not the energy vampires or drama queens.

MOVEMENT…I am a huge advocate of exercise and I exercised every day to help keep my stress at bay and stay physically fit.  I would make sure to go to the gym, run, dance or do yoga before my day started.  It is an excellent and fun way to start the day feeling energized and ready to take on whatever is to come.

These few practices just touch the surface of how I made it through the last 2- 3 challenging months and how I help my clients achieve similar results in their lives. I hope you find some part that you can take with you and use the next time life brings you lemons.  It’s been a whirlwind but I had the tools and practices in place to make it through with grace.

By the way, my brother is doing much better now and is recovering in a rehab facility in San Francisco.

Sending you all wellness wishes, hugs and love!

In Wellness,


GOOD NEWS:  If this post resonated with you and you want to discover more about how you can learn these practices to better manage not only your challenging moments but your life, please email me at dhillcoaching@gmail.com to reserve your spot!

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! I HAVE STARTED MY OWN MEETUP GROUP just for you!! It’s called Happy Healthy Woman Entrepreneurs Meetup. Please click on the link below to read the details and RSVP to attend the event or join the meetup group if interests you.

The URL is: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/happy-healthy-women-entrepreneurs-meetup-tickets-22641019900

More Wellness tips:

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are teaming up again for another life changing 21-day meditation experience. This is a great way to get started if you have never meditated and if you already meditate, it is a great addition to your current practice.  It is free for 21-days!  Even if you have no intention of ever meditating, it is worth listening to 1 or 2 days just to start your day with positive feelings.  Here is the link to sign up: https://chopracentermeditation.com/

Sending you all wellness wishes, hugs and love,


Running in the Rain!

22 Jan

On the path of my theme of getting uncomfortable everyday, I am posting my first video blog. It is totally spontaneous and completely unrehearsed but it’s from my heart. Enjoy! Sending SUPER BIG HUGS to you all today on National Hug Day!! xoxoxo!



Continue reading

12 Jan


2016 A Year of Facing my Fears – Week 1 1/2


It’s been a pretty amazing 11 days since we rang in 2016! In a previous post, I declared 2016 as the year of facing my fears!! Yay world, bring it on! I have committed to do something different, out of my comfort zone or something that completely scares me, every day. So far, my daily challenges have ranged from going ice skating and trying out new group exercise classes to making big life changing decisions. This practice has brought forth some deep, meaningful insights that I only just realized about my more recent self.

It started New Year’s day 2016 when I took my daughter and her friend ice skating. There is a nice, warm, cozy bar upstairs at the rink where you can watch the kids skate on the ice while you stay warm and have a hot toddy. Doesn’t that sound soooo nice? Well, it does to me. I even brought my book to read because I rarely get downtime like that to sit and relax without feeling guilty. This was my plan at first, however, when I got there, I remembered my commitment and instead of heading to that comfortable, cozy place, I checked my bag into a locker, rented ice skates and got on the ice for the first time in over 10 years. I had SOOOOO much fun! I skated with the girls too and took pictures. It’s not like I am not the adventurous type because if you knew me in my past, you would know that I love taking on challenges and trying new things.

However, what I DID realize and what came to light, was that these last few years since I suffered my brain aneurysm, I have been cautious. More cautious than I have ever been and I’m scared to do some of things that I used to LOVE to do and scared to do some of things I have never done before but long to do. These last few years, I have taken the road more travelled with a well paved safe route to where I am going. I can see where I will end up and I know I will get there safe and sound. How boring that is!! What’s even more unbelievable, is that this so-called safe route is not always a happy place. In fact, what I am finding more often than not, is that although it’s a known entity, that “safe” path no longer serves me and rather hurts me instead. It’s not who I thought I would be after surviving a near-death experience. I HAVE been timid!! I have been scared and fearful! Maybe rightfully so in the early part of my recovery but I am doing well and I have had an amazing miraculous recovery. I really have no excuses to keep playing small and to keep feeling so vulnerable (or at least letting vulnerability stop me).

Here’s the thing, I am worried about falling down. I mean literally falling and hitting my head. I have all this hardware in my brain that keeps me alive and I don’t want to crack my head and jar anything in there. I have had lots of people tell me to be careful too. My life depends on me taking care of my brain and I want to live a lot longer and see my young kids grow up and I want to play with my grandkids!

So here is the question??? Do I keep using this fear of falling and hurting my head as an excuse that prevents me from doing what I love, to living my passion, or serving my tribe? I think NOT! At least not anymore. April 7th 2016 will mark the 5 year anniversary of my survival. I hope by April, you and I will see that this year of facing my fears has propelled me into a future where I am stepping up and speaking out loud. It’s interesting that my brain injury and fear of falling has silently and quietly spread into all areas of my life. It’s not just effecting my brain anymore, it’s effecting my life. I see it like a small sprout that has now grown into an out of control vine, spreading through my entire body and being. It’s fear. That just blows me away that I have let it take over my life that way without even realizing it.

So now that I have this awareness of my fear, I have decided that rather than fight it, fear will become my partner. There are good things about fear. In some way, it pushes me to be courageous. It makes my accomplishments that much sweeter because I have had to overcome adversity and fear to make things happen and to move forward. Here is what is happening now when I come to a fear choice in my journey…First, I look at the easy and safe route where I can keep the status quo and then, I look at the route that is cloudy, unclear and I have no idea where it’s going, and I say to myself, “Yes, I AM scared but I am going to do it anyway!” I am going to trust and choose to step into the unknown, the path without the clear outcomes, but with a certainty that all will be just as it should be and I will land on my feet and be free again.” And so what if I fall, I will just get back up and stay the course! What’s the big deal. Bring it on baby, I’m ready to roll!flying angel

Sending endless love and hugs to all,

Dianne Hill, Life Wellness Coach, speaker and peace seeker at Inspired For Life!




My Intention for a Happy 2016

3 Jan

Happy New Year all!! I had a wonderful start to 2016, ringing in the New Year with close friends and surrounded with laughter, love and connection. I can’t think of a better way to start out 2016. Over the last few weeks, I have been receiving messages, signals and signs from various sources including God and the Universe that I need to stop hiding. I need to step out of my comfort zone. I am not allowing myself to reach out and be seen, to share my gifts with my community, my country and the world. I am making too many excuses and I am limiting myself. I heard and felt this but it’s a busy time so I kind of put it aside for the moment. Then, last night, one of the most humble, talented and amazing women I was with, shared a story that just hit home with me. We were talking about New Year’s resolutions and how no one ever keeps them EXCEPT this one year she shared with us. In this particular year, she decided that she was going to face her fears and start doing those uncomfortable things she was avoiding all the years prior. It changed her life. She got a new job, she moved to a new state, she met amazing people and had experiences that she will never forget and she even met the man that would be her life partner. I would chalk that up as pretty remarkable year.

Having already had my own internal callings and many external messages, I was deeply inspired by her story. I have decided that I am going to STOP making excuses and START raising the bar for myself. In 2016, I am committing to doing something everyday that is even slightly out of my comfort zone. Especially, the things that I am resisting the most. Even just the tiniest actions will count and I am going to journal my experiences as I take those actions. I am so excited!! I feel this surge of energy in my body that this is absolutely the right path I need to take right now. So stay tuned and follow along if you want to see how empowered action, manifestation, spirituality, love, connection, living my values and my purpose play out this 2016.

Wishing you all a peace, abundance and love in 2016 and beyond,

My Home Coming – A Year Later

4 May

A year ago today, I came home from the hospital 30 days after my brain aneurism happened.  I remember being in the hospital and working so hard with the PT’s and doctors so that I could get cleared to be home by my birthday on May 6th. What an amazing feeling when I was able to slowly and carefully walk on my own out of that door, get in the car and ride home. I remember my eyes filled with tears because I could not believe I had made it out. Wow!  It’s been a long road this year and I am so proud of how much my family and I have grown. I am so grateful for the many lessons I have learned and the life transformations that have occurred over the last year.  Thank you to my husband and my friends who have stuck by my side throughout it all.  I know it was challenging for you too and I am lucky to have such amazing people in my life. The journey is not over but I celebrate how far I have come.  I live each day with a life force that I have never known.  What’s next…continue recovery, starting a new career in life wellness coaching, speaking engagements, a little travel and most importantly maintaining life balance.  All while focusing on time with my kids, my husband and close friends and building a warm and welcoming home. Stay tuned…it just gets better from here!


Today, I am going to treat myself and get my nails done or maybe a foot massage.  I don’t know who with or where but I will head out after my Zumba class with Stacy and have a glass of champagne!


Love to you all,


“Live the life you were meant to. Love from your soul. Laugh while your doing it.”  Dianne Maldonado Hill


Update – April 2012 – One Year

29 Apr

Update - April 2012 - One Year

Celebrating one year of survival on the beach in Aptos, CA with family, friends and all our kids:)

Easter Sunday – One Year later

28 Apr

Happy Easter Saturday! Today I celebrate life with my heart filled with gratitude and love. It is hard to believe that 1 year ago today, I was not here with you all. I was fighting for my life so that today I am more alive than I have ever been. I hope you will take a short while to celebrate with me, not my life, but the preciousness of your own. I am going to surround myself with the warm love of my family and special friends this Easter weekend all the while so grateful for all I have in my life.
With love, Dianne

“Live the life you were meant to. Love from your soul. Laugh while you are doing it.” by “Dianne Maldonado Hill

Thanksgiving Day 2011 – Gratitude

24 Nov
 Quote of the Day:
“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was ‘Thank you,’ that would suffice” — Meister Eckhart

There’s so much research showing the extraordinary benefits of sharing thanks and appreciation. But, we don’t even need those statistics to know how it feels in our hearts so here it goes!

Happy Thanksgiving to my dear family and wonderful friends!  As this day has approached, I became more and more thoughtful about how much I have to be thankful for this year. Throughout my life challenges this year, I have come to realize that I am EQUALLY grateful for those joyful moments as well as my harsh life-changing experiences. Maybe even more so for the tough times as each of those battles have helped me grow in so many ways. I know in my heart the miracle of April 7th was a true GIFT to me from God for which I will forever be grateful.


These last 7+ months have been a whirlwind of ups and downs for me and my family. The tornado has hit, it has landed now and all the pieces are all over the place. Throughout it all, our family and so many friends have been there for us.  We are blessed to be surrounded by such an amazing network of friends who made it possible for us to get where we are today.  We could not have done it without you all. Please know that your support and love made a difference in our lives and you have touched our hearts. I can only hope that I have expressed my love and gratitude to all of you and that each of you knows how deeply those feelings lay in my soul.


There are a few people I especially want to give thanks to. In no particular order of thanks at all, I want to send my heart-felt gratitude to my brother, Bobby Maldonado and my amazing friends, Laura Boderck, Kami Schmedding, Jill Bernhardt, Lisa Smith, Felicia Viera, Micki Karrer, and Susie Hotelling. These selfless, amazing people put their own families aside to help mine when we hit bottom those first 30 days while I was in the hospital and then after I came home.  They came into my home and first and foremost, made sure my children maintained a consistent and normal life as much as possible. For this, I am especially gratefulJ. Each in their own way, they organized, cleaned, cooked, communicated my status, setup meal deliveries from other friends, grocery shopped, managed my kids activities, took me to my appointments and simply put helped run my household when I could not. This allowed Maurice to focus on me and make sure I got the care I needed in the hospital. Particularly important to me personally, my very special friend, Stacy Dunnett, has continued to help me get physically and mentally stronger throughout the last few months. I went from being barely able to walk down a stair step, to walking, to spinning, to running and now I am gradually regaining my strength and coordination enough to dance again. Her incredible spirit and energy has continued to keep me motivated and I continue to make so much progress. You will ALL always have a very special place in our hearts and we will forever be grateful for you all! 


Be grateful for all that comes your way, appreciate your life today and live it the best you know how to.  Wishing that your Thanksgiving Day be filled with many blessings, love and joy in your heart!


With love and deep gratitude,

Update: 6 months later! October 2, 2011

2 Oct
Sunday, October 2nd 2011
After a long hiatus, I am back online again!  Wahoo! I am excited to finally have a little time to write again and share my experiences with you all!
It has been a long road of healing for me since my last post but I am getting stronger everyday.  Although filled with many happy times, the summer was tough for me especially after my brother moved out at the end June. Bobby was such a tremendous help to me and I love and miss him so much!  Bobby you are amazing and I am lucky to have you as my brother! In Bobby’s absence, I had the kids by myself for the last 6 weeks of summer while my hubby was back at work. Crazy times but I was so grateful just to spend time with my children. Because I was not able to drive very far, I could not do all the fun things I would have normally done with them so instead we spent lots of quality time together at our pool in the backyard.  The kids really did not care as long as they were with mom.
The kids are back in school now and adjusting to a new schedule away from mom. My 9-year-old, Travis, has struggled with what has happened to mommy and he has been sick one day each week since school started. I think he has just missed mom and did not want to be away from me.  He is doing better now and I am so happy he seems to feel safer.
How am I
If you follow me on Facebook then you know a little of how I have been doing.  I have continued to heal at a miraculous rate and now almost 6 months has passed since my hospitalization. I have been back at the gym and able now to work out on a regular basis about 5 days a week.  I have been focusing on rebuilding my strength with small weight workouts in the gym and regaining my endurance and coordination taking short runs, spin and cardio dance classes at AVAC with group exercise instructor extraordinaire Stacy Dunnett. Stacy is an amazing friend to me and has been both a motivation and an inspiration to me throughout my recovery.  Much love and many thanks to you Stacy!  I LOVE that my dance classes are assigned PT for me.  It’s coming back slowly but surely. Yay!!
As I mentioned in a previous post, I injured my rotator cuff when I passed out during my aneurysm.  My shoulder was injured when I fell unconscious holding the bar bell in my hands. The bar bell weight I was still holding at the time fell overhead while I was lying down on a bench with 2 risers and I rolled my right arm way beyond normal limits. It’s hard to explain. Regardless, I have a severely torn rotator cuff in my supraspinatus tendon which has caused many painful and sleepless nights the last 6 months. The doctor is amazed at my pain tolerance and that I can do so much without feeling pain. I am just happy I have been able to be functional the last few months. I will be in a sling for about 4 weeks and I will not be able to drive for most of it then I am back to PT again another 2 – 3 months after that. I was supposed to get my shoulder fixed in July but the doctors decided it was best to wait 6 months before going under any kind of anesthesia.  SMART move!  My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, October 4th at 11:15am.  It is outpatient surgery so I will be recovering at home.  If anyone wants to help with meals or rides you can sign up as a volunteer at https://www.lotsahelpinghands.com/c/640838/login/.  It’s a bit of a pain so you can also just email me.  No worries, you thoughts and prayers are enough.
Although physically I am doing well, all the emotional and the expected post traumatic symptoms are coming up now.  My family and I are handling it all the best we can and we are doing just fine because of the support and love from our wonderful family, friends and a few therapists.  I will post more on this topic soon.
I will continue to update more regularly now that I am feeling better and the kids are back in school. I am looking forward to the next post after my surgery on Tuesday. Wish me luck!
Love you all,